Know Someone In Crisis? They Can Text For Help via Crisis Text Line

Know Someone In Crisis? They Can Text For Help via Crisis Text Line

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Hey, the Crisis Text Line is important to know about, especially this time of year. It's important to know that you're not alone and that there are lots of folks out there who want to listen to you, and who want to help.

Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Volunteer Crisis Counselors use a web-based platform to provide support to texters who are facing a wide range of issues. Millions of people are quietly suffering every day. They struggle with bullying, homophobia, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and more.

Through Crisis Text Line, people are able to get support at the click of a button, 24/7. Since August 2013, CTL has processed over 10,495,270 text messages with folks in need. You can see what their trends look like in pretty neat graphs here.

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They say the text line's for: "Your best friend. Your dad. That lady down the street. That quiet kid in school. That loud kid in school. That dude in accounting. Your cousin in Alaska. That hipster in the flannel in Brooklyn."  Crisis Text Line is for everyone.

You might be wondering how Crisis Text Line (CTL) works? You text 741741 when in crisis. Anywhere, anytime. A live, trained crisis counselor receives the text and responds quickly. The crisis counselor helps you move from what CTL describes as "a hot moment to a cool calm to stay safe and healthy using effective active listening and suggested referrals" – all through text message using CTL’s secure platform.

Seriously, anyone can call in. CTL solely exist to help anyone in crisis at any time. Crisis Text Line crisis counselors are both rigorously trained volunteers and employees of CTL's crisis center partners.

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When you text in, you’ll receive an automated text asking you what your crisis is. Within minutes, a live trained crisis counselor will answer your text. They'll help you out of your moment of crisis and work with you to create a plan to continue to feel better.

Plus, this whole thing's anonymous. Crisis counselors only know what texters share with them, and that information's confidential. They take anonymity seriously. Nothing will even appear on your bill if your cell phone plan's with AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon. This is important in case the person in crisis is in some sort of abusive relationship with a partner or family member who can access their phone bill.

CTL doesn't charge texters. If your phone plan's with AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon, texts to CTL at 741741 are free of charge. All these carriers agreed to waive charges for sending messages to the hotline, as well as the charges for the hotline itself. The cell phone companies are saving Crisis Text Line lots of money, and are really helping out. If you've got a plan with a different carrier, you could be charged standard text message fees.

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Interested in volunteering? After a rigorous application process, CTL volunteers complete a 34 hour training course over 6 weeks. The training includes ongoing simulated conversations and personalized feedback from CTL's experienced trainers as well as 8 hours of on-platform observation. Note: they only accept volunteers during open application periods. The next application period is coming up soon. They're also reaching out to more vets, who are really helping out with the hotline.

Please make sure to share this, folks. Thanks!

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4 Comments

tracy

So, I've got this free phone from Blue Jay wireless and I know the article says any other plan will be charged for texting. But I mean, could you please work something out with the phone companies that are giving away free phones and free service to those in poverty, like me. Nothing like already being in crisis, only communication is a free phone and then I get billed for reaching out to a crisis line. Better yet! Just when I'm coming down from being hot then Boom. Phone can no longer send or receive text message because I've reached the limit of 250 text messages a month.

Please look into this.

Thanks,
Tracy

Helphealherheart

This may look like a great thing, however, it seems that the folks who have initiated the org had never been to the real (!) crisis of their own. Unless it's something rather minor, with brief explanation, TALKING with no time pressure and getting the sense of being heard is the key starting point remedy in truly difficult situations. It may likely be very difficult to write much, in order to explain merely the issue well enough. In fact, crisis often results from the complexity of multiple stacked up and overdue problems that require systemic approach that starts with the most valueable help of being heard and understood by a compassionate listener.
So, sending a text to find such real LIVE couseling help can be actually effective. Maybe having to live through the real Crisis of one's own can be a helpful trait for the leadership of this endeavor. Writing about the crisis ain't easy, but insteat a major undertaking, particularly when the crisis is deliberately created by powerful corrupt officials that use police to bully and shut down calls for help, courts pressure to help avoid missing governance, deliberate lies and character assasination in the media, covering up medics and hospital execs and those cruel psychopaths in friends curcles, who suddenly chose to team up with moresponsen order to cover up own mess and to enjoy vengeance…. Add non-native language challenges… A rather brief description of the problem that needs to be CORREctly understood takes an hour to narrate and pages to type… Without proper understanding no proper solution is possible otherwise. Cookie cutter approach only makes the matter worse and more tnagled…
Text to find a live advisor – should be the description of the offer of this type of service. But there should be enough of live folks to execute the effective empathic (!!!) response, not another run around of disqualifying rules and bureaucratic policies from underpaid and overworked staff.

R

I volunteer for CTL. The keyword is volunteer, so if I felt that I was overworked and felt constraints from the medium as well as the method we use to connect with texters, I simply would not do it. I find volunteering for CTL challenging but deeply rewarding. Most of the time texters are incredibly grateful for the help they received during the conversation. You mentioned "cookie cutter" approach; people in crisis don't fit into a cookie cutter as of what you perceive they need as well. What works for one person may not work for the other. CTL is an option for those who are seeking help. While it may not suit some, there is no need to negate a potentially beneficial option for many, especially if you are basing this on personal socio-political theories that may or may not hold truth. Yes, there are many problems in the world, many crisis'. CTL is there to listen and help the texter navigate their feelings to their next step.

Gary Galdi

Hey Craig,

Great post. We all have the potential to need such a service. One wonders if the perpetrators of recent mass shootings had reached out, perhaps they would have received the help they needed.

Gary

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